how can you explain these sentences?

a)Who did Carol go with?
b)Whom did Carol Go with?
c)With whom did Carol go?

I read that you use who for the subject form (she), and whom for the object form (her).
a) she went with someone (who?), b) someone went with her (whom?).
Does it make any sense what I wrote????
And what about letter c)??

Help please,
Lupa *^)
1 2
Hello, Lupa Emotion: smile

You can have a look at this thread where I posted about the use of "who" and "whom":
You'll have to skip the first posts.

The structures of your questions a), b) and c) are explained in that thread.
Basically, a) and b) are the two options you have when "whom" does not follow a preposition: you can use either "who" or "whom"; both are ok.
Now, after a preposition, you don't have that choice, you should use "whom".
Of course, we are not talking about the subject of a sentence/question here (where you will always use "who") but of the objective case, be it a direct or indirect object, or the object of a preposition.

Your last analysis is a bit messed up. Emotion: smile

a) "She went with someone."
That "someone" is in object position. "She" is the subject.

b) is exactly the same case. As I explained before, you can choose "whom2 or "who" when this "object" does not follow a preposition.

c) The explanation here is the one I wrote for this sentence before: after a preposition, the object must be the "whom" form, not "who". There are no options in this case.

If you don't get it, let me know?

so what you mean is that A and B have the same meaning, and that either 'who' or 'whom' is correct in these sentences because they don't follow a preposition. And sentence C is also correct, but we can only use whom because it goes after a preposition, then the object must be the 'whom', not 'who'.
Is that right?
Emotion: smile
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Yes, Lupa, you got it right! Emotion: smile

Hi Miriam,
I was in another forum and just look at the answer that I got for this same question:
Emotion: surprise
"Hi, how can you explain these three sentences to a student:
(All three sentences have the same meaning. The difference is in the rules. In this case, native speakers often ignore the rules because the rules sound old-fashioned, stilted or stuffy.
a)Who did Carol go with? (This has two errors in the traditional rules of grammar. First, "who" is in the nominative case. "Whom," the objective case, should be used as it is the object of the preposition "with." Secondly, the traditional rule is that a sentence should not end with a preposition. "With" is a preposition, so it is in the wrong place in the sentence. Having said that, realize that most people say a) rather than b) or c).
b) Whom did Carol go with? (This uses "whom" correctly as the object of the preposition, "with," However, "with" is still placed incorrectly at the end of the sentence).
c) With whom did Carol go? (According to traditional rules, this sentence is correct)."

This is wrong isn't it?!?!?!

This is correct, not wrong. About thirty years ago (the time of "traditional rules"!) the only correct form according to grammar books was "With whom did Carol go?".

Since then grammarians have admitted defeat, so to speak, and grammar books now allow all three forms, which Miriam explained above.

In everyday conversation, however, it would be a rare day indeed if you heard anything but "Who did Carol go with?".

In the U.S., if not in the U.K., you can live an entire lifetime without ever saying the word "whom"! And there are many thousands of people who do! Nevertheless, it's better to learn the use of "who" and "whom" in case you need to do some formal writing, or perhaps, if you need to use British English. I can't speak for the British.

Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Hi once more, Lupa. Emotion: smile
There is a lot to be said about that response you got in the other forum!

First of all, I doubt a native speaker of English as long as they are actually aware of grammar and rules would tell someone who is trying to learn "In this case, native speakers often ignore the rules because the rules sound old-fashioned, stilted or stuffy."
I have no idea what the person who wrote that was thinking about when they said that native speakers often ignore the rules. The truth is that educated speakers do not ignore grammar rules.
Also, "educated" English will "sound" (not "be") stilted only if used in front of the wrong audience...

"Traditional grammars" are mentioned in that post. I'm not sure what the poster was referring to because traditional grammars have not been used in teaching in perhaps more than 50 years. I mean, no one who has some basic knowledge would tell you, today, that you cannot end a sentence with a preposition!
What I am trying to say here is that the people who use sentences a) and b) are not wrong. Those structures are actually taught in ESL/EFL courses, and they even appear in grammar books that were published perhaps 50 or 60 years ago. It isn't only native speakers "who ignore the rules" who use them.

Sentence c) is of course correct too. It is the most formal and, if it were possible to say so, the "most correct" as well.

I started studying English about 30 years ago, and I was taught structures like "where are you from?", or "what are you loking for/at?" that long ago (with a preposition at the end of a structure). The structures appeared in my textbooks, my teachers didn't make them up themselves. Emotion: smile

Also, I have some very old grammar books _more than half a century old- in which your sentences a, b, and c appear. And they are "formal" grammars". It seems those "forms" were already accepted as correct a long time ago.

And I know American people who use "whom". I guess it depends on each person's register. Not every native speaker uses informal English; at least, not all the time.

After many discussions, I totally agree with your answers and the knowledge you have. I trust your answers.
The reason why I like coming back and discussing over and over the same subject, is to really go deep on learning and find good people as you.
Thanks a lot for the help.

It appears I was wrong in my estimate of the exact date (if that could even be accurately determined!) when grammar books accepted prepositions at the end of sentences. (Since I learned the old rule in school, it can't be that long ago -- well, wait a minute, gosh, am I that old??? Emotion: smile ) Nevertheless, the point is that there was a time in the history of teaching English when it was a prescriptive rule that sentences not end with prepositions. I don't sense that you disagree with that. According to that rule, the preposition (in the examples we've been discussing) would have to occur at the beginning of the sentence followed by "whom". These are the (very old) rules that native speakers ignore, according to the poster. In the context the poster was referring to, modern usage ("Who ...with?") does ignore the rules of many, many years ago. The "current" (50+ year-old) rule can therefore be seen as an infraction of the "old" rule. Probably because of his/her age, and not keeping up with trends in the teaching of English grammar, the poster believed that the "old" rules were still valid, because those were likely the rules he/she learned in school years ago.

By the way, when I wrote my doctoral dissertation in the 60's, the English advisor did not permit prepositions at the ends of sentences! (Because it was formal writing, perhaps?) Suffice it to say that as late as the 60's, some grammarians were still all-too-familiar with the "old" rule -- and enforced it!

Best regards,

P.S. I found a grammar by Curme dated 1925 in which "With whom ...?" and "Whom ... with?" were judged acceptable, but not "Who ... with?". Go figure.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Show more